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Oral Microbiol Immunol. 1987 Jun;2(2):60-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-302x.1987.tb00291.x.

Suspected periodontopathic microorganisms and their oral habitats in young children.

Oral microbiology and immunology

K W Frisken, J R Tagg, A J Laws, M B Orr


  1. Department of Periodontology, School of Dentistry, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

PMID: 10870469 DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-302x.1987.tb00291.x


Samples of subgingival plaque from 67 children, 5-7 years of age, were examined for the presence of certain suspected periodontal pathogenic species using the conventional technique of anaerobic sonification, dilution and spiral plating. When this technique was compared with a direct plating procedure which involved no preliminary dispersion and dilution of plaque specimens, it was found that the direct method resulted in double the frequency of children in whom black-pigmented Bacteroides (BPB) were detected and a 10-times increase in the number of subjects harbouring Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans. Samples from the tongue, tonsils and saliva were also plated using the direct technique. BPB were detected less commonly in the plaque specimens (61.3% of children) than in saliva (89.5%), or on the tongue (86.6%) and tonsils (97.1%). Expressed as percentages of a pooled sample of the total BPB population, the most frequently detected species in plaque were Bacteroides intermedius (44.4%) and Bacteroides melaninogenicus (48.0%). The most prevalent isolate in all other oral sites was B. melaninogenicus. Expressed as percentages of children in whom BPB were detected, the most frequently isolated species from plaque using the conventional dilution technique was B. intermedius (21.3%), whereas other BPB species were present in fewer than 5% of children. Fusobacterium nucleatum and Capnocytophaga species were isolated most frequently from plaque but were also commonly detected in the various other oral sites.

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